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Fix Crackly Audio and other Mac sound problems



  A hand touching the touch bar on a MacBook Pro.
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Mac sound problems can range from stuttering crackling sound to no sound at all. If you're using an older version of macOS, you may encounter these issues more often. Fortunately, solving most of the sound problems on the Mac is relatively easy.

No audio on your Mac? Check Sound Preferences

The first place to check if you have any sound problems is macOS Sound Preferences. Go to System Preferences> Sound. Click the "Output" tab and see where your audio is routed. Check the volume slider at the bottom and deselect the "Mute" box if necessary.

You should see a list of devices that you can use for sound output, with the default option (on most Mac computers) as internal speakers. If something other than Internal Speakers is selected (and you have no reason to do so), click Internal Speakers to redirect the audio.

 macOS Sound Output Preferences

Now, retest your output settings by playing some music or an audio file. If you prefer to output to another device such as an audio interface, headphones or aggregated device, you can specify it under these settings. Some sound problems can even be solved by selecting a different output and then selecting the original output.

If you don't see any output devices at all, you may have encountered a problem updating or upgrading macOS. You can try to reset your NVRAM / PRAM to solve this problem, otherwise backup with Time Machine then reinstall macOS and try again.

Restart lots of problems

If you've tried adjusting your sound settings to no avail, restarting your Mac is probably worth a try. This seems like a bit of a heavy-handed solution, but sometimes you really need to turn it off and on again.

Restarting your machine is likely to solve many problems, including crackling or stuttering sound. Unfortunately, it is quite tricky, but it is not the only way to solve some problems.

Fix cracking or distorted sound by killing core audio

Crackling or stuttering audio is an issue that plagued many around the launch of OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" in late 2013. If you're having issues with your sound and you still Mavericks It is a good idea to upgrade your Mac to a newer version of the operating system.

While you could restart your computer to fix this problem, another option is to kill the Core Audio service who is responsible for audio processing in macOS.You can do this with a simple terminal command.First start & # 39; Terminal & # 39; by searching with Spotlight or under Applications> Utilities.

You need administrator rights to For this to work, with Terminal open, enter the following:

sudo killall coreaudiod

Now enter your user password (assuming you have administrator access) to to authorize the assignment. The process coreaudiod is terminated and should restart automatically. Try to play some music or other sound to see if you still have the problem.

If you have no audio at all, you may have to restart Core Audio with the following Terminal command:

sudo launchctl stop com.apple.audio.coreaudiod && sudo launchctl start com.apple.audio. coreaudiod

You can use these commands to fix crackling noises when you encounter it, but a permanent fix will likely require a system update, system upgrade or new macOS installation.

Note that running this command may also interrupt audio-dependent processes, such as chat via FaceTime or Skype, record voice memos, or listen to music.

Reset NVRAM / PRAM is worth a shot

PRAM stands for Parameter Random Access Memory, while NVRAM stands for Non-Volatile Access Memory. This type of memory is used by your Mac to store configuration data when your computer is turned off. This includes information such as the date and time, as well as the sound volume settings.

Since PRAM / NVRAM is responsible for preserving sound preferences, resetting this memory can help solve some problems. If you have consistent issues, a reset won't hurt. You may need to set the date and time and a few other macOS settings if you follow this route.

How you reset your PRAM / NVRAM depends on the Mac model you have. Understand which Mac you have and how to reset PRAM / NVRAM for your specific machine.

Switch output when connecting HDMI devices

Sometimes sound still comes out of your laptop speakers when you connect an external monitor or TV via HDMI. This is easy to fix. Go to System Preferences> Sound and click the Output tab.

You should see your HDMI device in the list of available audio outputs. Click on it and the sound will be diverted. You could also designate another audio device (such as headphones) if you want to output audio that way.

If you don't see your HDMI device in the list and it is definitely plugged in and working, try unplugging it and plugging it back in. Your Mac should remember which device output settings you prefer in the future.

Some sound problems are app specific

Not all sound problems are related to macOS. Some applications have their own sound preferences that must be managed manually. This includes DAW software such as Ableton, video editors such as Adobe Premiere, and sound editing software such as Audacity.

To fix these problems, you have to dig into the app's preferences. If you don't have any audio at all, you probably need to specify an output device (such as "Internal Speakers" or "Headphones"). The same can be said for a microphone that doesn't work when it should.

 Audacity Preferences on macOS

This varies by app, but you can generally find most apps preferences by clicking the app name in the menu bar at the top of the screen and then on & # 39; Preferences & # 39; to click. When in doubt, a quick web search for something like "no sound [app name] mac" should provide some advice.

Microphone problems? Back to Sound Preferences

Changing your input device is as easy as changing your output device. If you're having trouble getting an app to recognize your microphone, or maybe your Mac is using the wrong microphone, go to System Preferences> Sound and click the "Input" tab.

 macOS Audio Input Preferences

Whatever device is selected here, that's what your computer will use as a microphone. If you have a USB microphone plugged in, select it here so that your Mac can use it instead of the internal microphone.


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